Covid-19 Can’t Postpone Love: Erica + Ben’s Story

“...but at the end of the day we will still be getting married, and that’s what matters.”

by Christiana Schuchert - Events Manager

Happy April everyone!  I’m currently sitting at my kitchen table doing this ‘work from home’ thing, which honestly feels pretty strange for this time of year.  Instead of preparing for a big weekend of events, my days are consumed with contacting vendors on postponements and updating dates on paperwork, utilizing a cardboard box to keep it all organized.  If things were “normal” right now, I would be placing catering orders, having a call with the florist, creating notes for staff meeting, and texting about all the exciting things with my weekend’s brides. I would be arranging and rearranging décor and uploading processional songs on our sound system, mapping out the perfect point for our bride to enter for her processional.

I know I’m not alone feeling out of a place.  I’m thinking of our teachers trying to manage teaching their students virtually and helping their own kids with schoolwork, nurses & doctors who are working tirelessly in environments where they are exposed to all the threats that the rest of us are staying home to avoid. And let’s not forget those that are battling the virus.

And then, there are our couples.

Mary Corrry Photograpy

Our Spring couples have had to make some heartbreaking decisions about the day they have been looking forward to for months, some of them years.  I’ve heard so many of your stories. What a disappointing and stressful time. Our staff’s hearts break for all of you, but we are committed to remind you again and again we are here for you. You aren’t alone in what you are going through, in the tough decisions we’ve had to make together, in the anxious guests and family members that have contacted you with their worries, “Hey, what’s the plan, have you watched the news?” Nevermind the work/life balance you are trying to figure out in response to your state’s ever-evolving guidelines.  There’s so much information and fear and unknown. 

But I don’t want to dwell on that.  Today, I want to share with you Erica and Ben’s story in the hopes that you will gain some encouragement as you tackle a never ending case of the “what ifs” or are mourning the postponement of your wedding.   Erica and Ben are one of our many out-of-state couples, who were set to get married at AH mid-May.  They just moved into a new home and have had a lot of aspects of their life affected by Covid-19.  Despite everything, their perspective on love and their marriage is inspiring and I’m so grateful that Erica agreed to share her story with you.

“Both of us work for small, privately owned businesses who have been hit hard by this. My clinic has switched over to telehealth with the ability to work from home, but Ben is still traveling to work each day with a modified work schedule. We just moved into our first home, which is about 40 minutes from where we previously lived and where all of our friends currently live. We haven’t gotten to know the new neighbors as much as we had hoped, and we haven’t seen our friends in Raleigh for about a month. We have been able to video call with friends and coworkers to keep us a little more sane in all of this.”
“We had planned (for a little over a year) to get married on May 16, 2020. As the day crept closer, we started to fear the unknown. We live outside of Raleigh, my family lives in Virginia, Ben’s family lives in Georgia, and we have extended family living in Kansas and Brazil as well. This means that ALL of our guests were traveling for the wedding, with many flying in. I was consumed by the news every day (let’s be honest- every hour) and it just kept getting worse and worse. Tirzah, the owner of AH, called me just to talk with me and check in on how we were feeling and what we were thinking. We decided we wanted to hold out and wait before making any decisions, as we had so been looking forward to May 16th. After a few more days of worsening news with various states being put on stay-at-home orders and shelter-in-place orders, we decided that May 16th would be too risky with everyone traveling (many from out of state). I spoke with Tirzah again a few days later explaining that we would be more comfortable postponing our date. She was unbelievably kind and accommodating, setting us up with a beautiful date.  We are obviously bummed that we couldn’t have our wedding on the date we had originally planned for, but at the end of the day we will still be getting married, and that’s what matters.” 🙂

I asked Erica what felt disappointing about having a new date.  She said she was bummed that they had to wait even longer for what had already felt like a hard wait. She mentioned the time and money that would go into notifying all her guests of the change and needing to reschedule her honeymoon. She had such an amazing outlook overall and shared that there were some definite pros to name.

“The stress and anxiety have gone away, and I finally can breathe again. I was so consumed by the news, that it was a huge distraction for me. Now that we have postponed, I check the news one time before I go to bed.  More people will attend our wedding. A huge part of us selecting to have our wedding in Charlotte at AH was the location. It is a great halfway point between both of our families and Charlotte has a great airport for our guests traveling from much further. With the unknown, travel restrictions, bans, laws, and health risks, we felt that a lot of people would not be able to come celebrate with us in May. Our guests are the people who have been by our side all along and they play a huge role in our lives and our relationship, so it is very important to us for them to be there.” 

Erica was also gracious enough to share her thoughts and experiences, specifically as an Alexander Homestead bride during this worldwide pandemic.

“AH has been amazing through this process. It meant the world to me that Tirzah called me on that Friday, just to check on me. It wasn’t to tell me that I needed to switch my date or to tell me I couldn’t. It was simply to talk to me and listen to my concerns and then to offer words of encouragement and assure me that they were on my side and wanted to make everything as perfect as possible….Tirzah knew how emotionally hard it would be for us to change our date, so she offered some beautiful options in case we wanted to or had to postpone. Her allowing me to change the date definitely is a sacrifice to them as a business. Yet, she cared more about kindness and just wanted to do everything she could to make it perfect for us. Our coordinator, Chris, has also reached out to us since our postponement, offering comforting and encouraging words. They both want to do everything they can for us, and that’s truly hard to come by.”

Thanks Erica! We are committed to walk with you through this and cheer you on up until the big day!  Now that Erica had a new date and was in a place where she could start preparing for it, I asked what she was most looking forward to on her wedding day.

“GETTING MARRIED! I can’t wait to walk down the aisle toward the man of my dreams and say, “I do.” All I’ve heard about AH is how they do everything to take the stress off of you so that all you have to do is show up. How lucky are we that we don’t have to worry about the little details, and all we have to do is show up and GET MARRIED!! :)”

I asked, “For the numerous couples this Spring who have had to make the tough decision to postpone, or were forced to postpone because of mandates, any words of encouragement, hope, or advice?:

“It’s definitely a hard and emotional decision, but some good things are worth the wait. In the end, you will be married! All the stress of the unknown is lifted off of you, and you can finally relax a little. It is also amazing to see how unbelievably kind people are being in this time of crisis.”

She went on further to say:

“I often look at the news and see the tragedies of our world all around us. So, I sadly had begun to hope for the best, but expect the worst in people. I feel that the community is really trying to come together in this time of crisis and actually help people. It is a time of struggle and a time of uncertainty for so many people- yet people are choosing to be kind.”

Well said! I couldn’t agree more. We are so excited to countdown with you! We know that your day is going to be STUNNING, and we are here cheering you on every step of the way!